In this chapter, the relationship between nuo and state ideology in both historical context and in the present day will be examined. Until the end of the Maoist era, Chinese religion and state ideology had always had a close relationship. Broadly speaking, the relationship underwent three major phases: feudalism, imperialism and communism. In the feudal state, religion and politics were integrated as one – it was a theocratic system. In the Imperial state, the secular political and ethical philosophy of Confucianism replaced religion as the state official ideology, leading to a separation of religion from the state political system. However, the Confucian attitude towards religion was highly pragmatic. To help the ruling class strengthen their political power and maintain political stability, Confucian scholars attached great importance to the religious rites, such as ancestor worship, the worship of heaven and its subordinate system of naturalistic deities, and the worship of the state. Thus, although the prominent influence of Confucianism in Chinese history precluded the rise of a national religion, the ruling class were alert to the advantages of using religion as an instrument of political control. As a result, various religions flourished or declined during Imperial times depending on whether or not their relationship with the official ideology of Confucianism was politically advantageous.